What do you do when you’ve sold six million albums, had five numbers one singles, won two Brit Awards, five MOBO’s, and had the biggest selling music event in UK cinema history? You do what you exactly well want. And, on their fourth studio album, Evolution, that’s exactly what JLS have done.
Laura Delaney:Evolution is taking on bigger beats and even raunchier lyrics. Was this intentional?
JB:Yes and no. We were in the studio about a year ago, since October, so we said ‘let’s just write whatever we feel’. About a third of the way through, we kind of felt that we wanted to come with a harder sound and we wanted to work with predominantly US based writers and producers.
Then we got a bit of shape to the album and it ended up a bit more RnB and hip hop sounding than our previous albums. It was a tip of the hat to what we were like before the X-Factor We do a lot of a capella’s and a lot of vocal harmonies, so we just wanted to bring it back and express it again.
How do you feel being compared to Justin Timberlake and Michael Jackson on the album?
It’s fantastic! They are both heroes of ours. They are definitely musical inspirations for us. To be compared to those guys is absolutely incredible.
Do you have a favourite track on the album?
It has to be Hold Me Down. We’ve spent a lot of time working in the studio and you could say that we’ve been away for a little while as we didn’t release much last year. For me that song represents the last 18 months and just shows me that you can still continue to achieve and develop and reach for the stars.
You work with some industry greats on this album such as Mr. Bangladesh and Rodney Jerkins. What was that like?
Rodney is legendary. He’s so musical it’s unbelievable. Bangladesh has had some incredibly huge recent hits and he’s very current – they are both fantastic. We also worked with Dem Jointz with co-wrote three or four songs with us which was crazy. To get into the studio with those kind of guys was mind-blowing.
You won your fifth MOBO award. Are you still surprised when your name is called out?
The last four or five years has taught us never to take anything for granted because as soon as you do that the next person come in and take your crown from you. For us it is definitely a massive achievement and we are so proud of receiving the award. Hopefully we will be lucky enough to win more in the future.
We recently saw you returning to The X-Factor. Is it still a bit surreal getting up to perform on the same stage you auditioned on?
It’s such a different line-up with all the judges changing apart from Louis and it’s a different set-up to when we were on the show. It’s a slightly different show but it’s always going to be home to us. We will always have an allegiance to it in that sense. We always look forward to going back and performing and getting on that stage.
Who is your favourite contestant on The X-Factor this year?
James Arthur. He sings from such a passionate place. I really believe him when he sings. After the show he has huge prospects if he plays his cards right. He is very musical as well which I don’t think you can appreciate fully on the show. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.
You’re playing at the Cheerios Childline concert at the end of the month. What do you make of your Irish fans?
They are incredible to us when we come over. We love coming over to Ireland especially to Dublin and Belfast. We’ve done loads and loads and loads of gigs all up and down Ireland and you guys always come with the most excitement. We don’t come enough to be honest. We should really try and come over more. We are really looking forward to the Cheerios Childline concert. It’s actually the first gig we did after we left the X-Factor that gig always means a lot to us.